Workout: New York



One of my biggest guilty pleasures is Bravo TV. I have Matt watching Top Chef with me (actually one of our favorite shows) and occasionally he’ll be in the room if I’m catching up on a Real Housewives episode but that’s pretty rare. It’s hard to watch those self-absorbed cunty jealous bitches attacking each other for an entire hour. Bad energy.

Workout with Jackie Warner used to be one of my favorites until she seemed to get the tv bug and ramped up the crazy to such proportions that it became unbelievable. One of her coaches was killed by a train in recent years, remember that? He was shooting an energy drink commercial and thought he could outrun a train.

A train.


Outrunning a train is pretty hard core I guess. Not outrunning it is a bummer.


It’s been a few years since Bravo has attempted another ‘Workout’ series and this time, they’ve headed east over to the New York. Ya know, the greatest city in the world. I believe NYC to be the armpit of the world. I’d rather visit Houston in July than NYC any time. (I’d go to Brooklyn at the drop of a hat. I love Brooklyn mostly because our dear friends Paulie and AoD of South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club are there;) NYC? No. I was there once during a garbage strike. A garbage strike in a city overflowing with people.

So that was fun.

I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would live in A) New York city or 2. Los Angeles. Blech. But then to believe that you’re in the greatest city of the world leads me to believe you’ve never been to interesting places like, oh I dunno, Cleveland. I used to work with a coach who grew up in the Chicago area but wanted to make it big in NYC, getting his own Black Iron gym going. Now, first off, it’s not my place to shit on someone else’s dreams. But I will question the mentality of a person who can only afford a studio apartment the size of our bathroom (for an economical fee of $2000 per month) for 15 years and is no closer to owning their own Black Iron gym than I am of having a Lynda Carter body (like, her body now. Not even the Wonder Woman body.) Honestly, I have no idea how much rent costs in New York City. All I know is that it is higher than our home mortgage which allows us to have a helluva lot ‘o fun in addition to living; a black iron gym, and a fine sized back yard for the big white dogs. (Asshole neighbor thrown in for free.)

SO, anyway, Workout New York city follows the cast of characters who you quickly see are filled with so many insecurities and neurosis that only reality TV can appreciate. There are a few bright spots. Holly Rilinger has been around for a long time and has a nice energy about her. I kind of picture her like the Adrian Wilson of her world. Adrian is bright and positive and kicks arse and basically is everything good about an athlete. That’s my impression of Ms. Rilinger. Stays above the fray. I like her.

I’ve only caught parts of episodes here and there if it’s on while I’m doing housework but one little scene yesterday caught my ear. One of the newer trainers, Lee Marti, is training for a physique contest. She met her trainer on the beach for a cardio session and was bemoaning how tired she was and she vented:


(That’s her in the middle) “I’m down to 1400-1600 calories a day! I’m starving and exhausted!!” I thought originally that she said 1600-1800 a day but I think I was wrong. In other words, worst case sceanario, she’s DOWN to a low point of 1400 calories a day two weeks out from her first PHYSIQUE competition.

Last spring when I very briefly paid a bodybuilder to help me with my food, she had me at 1300-1400 calories a day and under 70 grams of carbs on my training/throwing days. Guess who felt like shit; gained weight; and whose throws went down the shitter? Ya. Me. A thrower/lifter weighing in I’m guessing around 100 pounds heavier than little Miss Thang above, training explosive lifts and throws instead of constant cardio. Giving me a diet with less calories and carbs than a 5’2, 120# physique competitor was stupid. You’re fired.

What I loved about Ms. Marti’s comment though, was the highlight that she was in a state of starvation. That her body wasn’t running on all cylinders. That this LOW CALORIE diet of 1400-1600 was brutal for her. Not good. No Bueno.

SO, on January 2nd when a large portion of America (large portion, get it???) starts their new diets, many with the help of “certified trainers” and the first thing they do is put an overweight female on a starvation diet of 12 weeks of 1200-1400 calories; let’s remember little Miss Marti.

120# (I’m guessing but she’s tiny) and muscular is-



If the only tool in their toolbox is to restrict your calories to a dangerous level, fire the trainer. If you’ve been fat for a long time, it’s going to take a long time to change your food habits. Longer than 12 weeks.

Be patient. Be consistent. Look for good help. It’s out there.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

Thomas Paine

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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